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Tuesday, 21 July 2015 17:24

Coming out from under the glass ceiling? Featured

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Coming out from under the glass ceiling? Image courtesy of Ambro, freedigitalphotos.net/images

Is the glass ceiling slowly disappearing from the traditionally male-dominated IT industry in Australia?

Well, a newly published survey of the industry seems to suggest it might be – albeit not so much in senior management roles yet - with Aussie businesses now increasing the number of women they hire faster than those in seven other developed economies worldwide.

According to a survey by recruitment firm Robert Half, 65% of Australian firms have hired more women into technology roles in the past five years, compared to an average of 44% across all eight nations surveyed - Australia, France, German, UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

Of the countries including Australia surveyed (900 CTOs/CIOs), Japan and Germany recorded the slowest growth, with 31% and 36% respectively.

The survey also revealed that Australian medium sized firms are leading the way with 76% of those surveyed increasing their female headcount over the past five years.

According to Division Manager of Technology at Robert Half, Bansrii Shah, the survey results match the realities of Australia’s technology sector jobs market, which has seen significant change in recent years.

“The digital economy is transforming every sector, so if you couple your passion in sport, food, retail or any other area, and have the IT skills, you can now combine that with a career in technology.

“Technology is no longer a male dominated sector and new opportunities, particularly in the innovative, creative digital space, are increasingly seeing women enter this market.”

Shah says that Robert Half is seeing an increased proportion of women being placed in project management, typically as project managers, project coordinators, project schedulers or business analysts.

And, she says to continue growing the representation of women in IT roles, particularly in leadership positions, the industry needs to “foster this interest at schools and universities so that they develop the skills and passion for the sector at an early age.”

“We need to see more mentoring programs that enable the next generation of women to be inspired and to have the right level of guidance to navigate the new opportunities across the technology sector.

“While there is still a disproportionate lack of female leaders in senior management roles across technology, this gap continues to close as women are increasingly building careers across the sector.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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